The Ambivalent Mind

June 30, 2011

ambivalent : noun \am-ˈbi-və-lən(t)s:  simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action.

A perfect word to describe the push and pull of BPD.

Suicide Girls

June 29, 2011

 

Thank You Leah

June 25, 2011

Over the last year, I have received some pretty nasty comments from rape survivors who’ve read my blog. 100s to date. And even thought I understand where that anger is coming from, I do feel it is mostly misplaced anger.

As a result, it has added fuel to the fire. It has kept old wounds from healing. It has made me a less than pleasant person. I have allowed other people’s rage and abuse to become part of my own personality. I have allowed the actions of my borderline ex to taint the way I view those who remind me of her. And for this,  I bear my own shame.

So when I received a comment in my inbox from Leah aka BeBopaLuLa, I expected more of the same. But instead, I was pleasantly surprised. What Leah provided me was an apology and an acknowledgment of my pain. She gave me pause for thought. She graciously shared with me her story. She showed me that she is more human than I gave her credit for. And I am deeply sorry for that. I hope she will accept my humblest apology.

If it is ok with Leah, I would like to share her message. Because I would like my readers to know she is human as well:

Hi Savory Dish,

I’m not deleting anything out of shame. I was just doing my best not to engage you any further without having to delete my tumblr altogether. Of course I don’t want a stranger writing inflammatory things about my mental health on the internet!! I just turned around and deleted the posts that I thought would bother you because that is what I would want for myself. I have not commented up until this point, or contacted you in any way, because I thought that would be the best, most tactful thing to do. It didnt seem like anything i could say to you would be met well. It is clear though, that even without directly engaging you, you are still troubled by my presence and looking for something in my posts.

You are totally right. I made a big mistake in talking about your blog on my tumblr. I don’t know you, only what you post about, and that isn’t enough to judge you on. It seems like you went through a very painful experience and I do feel empathy towards you and badly for judging someone who is clearly still processing emotions and dealing with pain. So indeed, it was foolish, insensitive and mean of me to discuss your blog on my tumblr and I am sorry.

There are many grains of truth in your blog. I would never say it is “bullshit”. And at the end of the day, anything else is ultimately none of my business.

If you would like me to lay myself bare for you, so that you can stop drawing your own conclusions about me; I was raped a decade ago. I have been in therapy consistently ever since (except for periods between therapists, like when I’ve moved or when someone has left a practice) and also for many years before. I am in therapy right now, too (I have a particularly great therapist at the moment!). I have seen many different psychologists, psyhiatrists, therapists and counsellors, but I have never received a diagnosis for a personality disorder. I do have a learning disorder that went undiagnosed for some time and caused me troubles as a kid (and still does where school or work is concerned), I have trouble with anxiety, and yep! anger and depression. Being raped does make one angry and that anger dissipates over time and is assuaged through therapy and made sense of, but it does linger. There is no shame in any of this, and it is no secret to anyone who knows me well. I don’t talk about these things on my blog because I talk about them constantly in my personal life as they come up. And also because, despite what you may think, my life is going pretty well at the moment. You can read back even further in my tumblr to see me complain about feeling depressed, if you really want, though.

So there is an honest apology and admittance of seeking treatment for you. I hope that we can both just move past this and carry on with our lives.

PS: I was horrified by that story when it made the rounds on tumblr. Whether you can believe it or not, I can’t relate to people who find inspiration in stories of horrific violence, regardless of the motive.

PPSS I am indeed a feminist, but I don’t hate men! Also I am an only child so “too much attention” was more likely an issue.

Listen up, all you angry survivors: If you want to show me the error of my ways, this is how it’s done. Instead of posting my response in the comment section, I will post it here:

Dear Leah,

Thank you for finally reaching out. And thank you for your apology and acknowledging my pain. For the record, I never had any real ill will towards you. But I did make some pretty harsh evaluations about you. I was making an example of you. But in the process, I was unfair to you. For this, I hope you will accept my humblest apologies.

For the record, this will be my last post about you. I will respect your privacy. And I will do my best to delete any old posts that link to you. There’s enough content here without me using your blog as a reference. I shared this last message to hopefully right my wrongs. I would like for people to see this side of you. I found it touching. I hope others will too. But if you wish for me to delete this as well, all you need to do is say so.

We had a little bit of a misunderstanding there. But that is all water under the bridge. I feel, at the end of this exchange, I have learned a lot more about you and myself.

I am sorry that I have clumped you into a group of survivors for the sake of venting my own anger. Clearly not all survivors are the same. You have shown me this with your message of peace. I failed to acknowledge the hard work you have put into making a better life for yourself, and I’m sorry for that as well. I know how hard it must be to deal with something as horrible as rape. I’m sorry if I have belittled your pain or efforts to heal in any way.

I do like to think that your years of therapy made this particular exchange possible. It gives me hope that other rape survivors can move forward. I have a long history of loving people who were not ready to love me back. My anger comes from having people I loved with all my heart turn their back on me. This blog is my way of understanding something that is so hard to accept. But I am sorry if I have hurt you along the way.

I don’t know you well enough to judge you. But from what I have seen, you have carved out a pretty good life for yourself. You seem like a wonderfully creative and expressive person despite what has happened to you. And just between you and me, I like your style. I wish you the best. And if you ever feel like contributing to this blog, I invite you to do so. I would love to hear more of your insights.

Savory Dish

Alcohol and dumbasses don’t mix. When you mix the two together, this is what you get. Some people can handle their alcohol. Clearly, others can’t. You can guess what kind of upbringing and parents these children of chaos had. These are people who grew up without boundaries. They grew up in families with a long history of alcoholism. These people should not be allowed to consume alcohol. Ever.

When drinking is used an excuse to behave badly that is the first sign of alcohol abuse. These are rarely isolated incidents. These people are using alcohol to cover up the pain of the past. I’m sure they did get caught up in the emotions of the day, but so did a lot of other people who didn’t set their city ablaze.

They have identified themselves as true assholes. These people have embarrassed themselves, their loved ones and their city. The connection between alcohol abuse and personality disorders is real.

You Are Ridiculous

June 11, 2011

In the last post, I was visited by a commenter who goes by the name “You Are Ridiculous”. Ironically, her first comment was a bit ridiculous, a bit of a rage fest. It seems she was upset by comments made about her fellow Tumblrites. But after a good talk, she has toned down the rhetoric. Since she has made an effort to play nice, I’ve decided to address her concerns. Since her comments are lengthy, I have also decided it would be best to post my response here:

@ You Are Ridiculous

I’ll do my best to address all your points but I may not address them all because quite frankly it’s the same points that every angry feminist makes when they leave a comment here. And even I get tired of repeating myself.

Let’s start with your explanation:

Let me explain myself a little — at one point in my life I had a very close female friend who I now very much suspect was/is BP… Obviously not quite the same effect as being in a romantic situation with one of these individuals, but I am totally aware of the damage someone with this disorder can wreak when you’ve formed a genuine attachment to them (and of course, a most “intense” friendship). I can totally understand and even appreciate the need for a means of support (and a community) for those left in the wake of such an individual’s lovely “whims” and behavior, and a place to further analyze this type of personality and its presence in our society in a larger sense.

I appreciate this little bit of acknowledgment. But you are very right. Having a friend who is BP is nothing like being in a co-dependent relationship with a borderline. Had this been your only comment, I would have accepted it as genuine concern for my well-being. Unfortunately, you went on to belittle my experience. You segued from being concerned to being dismissive. You followed the above comment with this:

But there comes a point, I think, where you have to “let it go” — you pick yourself up and you’ve learned to not let yourself get close to a person like this again

Communication 101: when you follow a sentiment with “But…”, you basically negate everything you said prior to the “But…”. With all due respect, you don’t know me well enough to be concerned for my well-being. Padding your criticisms with feigned concern is not only disingenuous, it’s manipulative. I’ve known enough manipulative people in my lifetime to know bullshit when I smell it. So please save the song and dance act for someone else. It insults my intelligence as well as yours.

You are no different than the 100 other angry commenters who came here trying to shut down this blog with your indignation. I appreciate the fact that you made efforts to soften your tone of voice, but the intent remains the same. Your initial outburst, while unruly and irrational was probably your most honest response. Basically, you don’t like what I have to say, and you wish me to cease and desist. The truth is you don’t really care about what I went through. You only care about how you feel after reading this blog.

Contrary to what you assumed, this blog has only been up for a year or so. And only since last summer, did I really put any focus on talking about BPD. Psychology has always been an interest of mine, but this marks the first time I have ever publicly talked about my experiences through the filter of personality disorders. You call it an obsession. I call it making sense of my life.

But even if it was an obsession, you of all people should understand obsessions. You seem to have an obsession with the idea of misogyny and victimization. Just as others like you have an obsession with “rape culture” and the ever popular notion of the “Patriarchy”. We all have our own personal demons. Some people choose to blame Liberals or Conservatives for ruining the world. Others choose to blame the Man or an Oppressive Force of some kind. I have chosen to put my focus on Abusive Personalities, Silent Abusers in particular. I have observed that most of my problems have stemmed from my exposure to such people. Throughout my whole life, I have remained silent about this experience. And I have only decided just this year to break the silence.

So while you may find my “vent fest” to be offensive. I have found it to be liberating and enlightening. Had it not been for this blog, I might still be in the dark about such things. I might still be going from one abusive relationship to another. This blog and the contents within have liberated me from my borderline ex and relationships just like it. It is my attempt to stop the downward cycle.

What you fail to understand (and you are not alone) is Borderlines have a magical hold on their co-dependent partners. These relationships are held together by an addiction. You would never tell a cocaine addict to “just get over it” so why would you tell a person who is addicted to codependent relationships to just get over it?

Such careless comments completely demeans their hardships and their struggles. Such recovery takes a lengthy period of introspection, re-education and re-conditioning. It took a lifetime to pick up these bad habits, and now it will take the rest of my life to unlearn them. This is how I have taken responsibility for my own well-being. This is something I have been able to do quite well without the helpful suggestions or feigned concern provided by the likes of you.

This blog has helped me see the light. It has effectively showed me the error of my ways. Had it not been for my efforts here, I would still be emotionally distraught and lost. So while you are convinced that this blog is pure evil. For those, like myself, it serves as a guide for a better life. What you see as obsession, I see as a commitment to stay on track. What you see as an attack on fellow Tumblrites, I see as self-defense and raising awareness about victims turned silent abusers.

Since this blog has dedicated itself to such things, I have noticed two kinds of commenters. Those who get it and those who don’t. Those Who Get It don’t have to imagine what it was like to be in a relationship with a borderline, because they went through it. To them, these posts are a cathartic acknowledgment of their pain. Pain that the rest of the world doesn’t understand (ie. Those Who Don’t Get It)

Those Who Don’t Get It judge and belittle, because it provides a sense of superiority and control they do not enjoy in the real world. Condescending remarks directed at some other unfortunate soul acts to inflate a suffering ego.Their feigned concern is a narcissistic act. Posing as Mother Theresa, when really they are looking for a fight.

You reacted the way you did because something written here triggered feelings of inadequacy. That’s me serving you the truth. I will not feign concern but I will suggest that maybe you examine what is it in YOU that makes YOU feel inadequate when YOU read the posts here. I nor this blog can make you feel something you don’t already feel. Your rant is not about ME, it’s about YOU.

I’m sorry if you feel I am being a tad misogynistic. Unfortunately for you, my experiences with BPD have been with borderline women. That is not through any choice of mine. So you and your angry feminist friends are shit out of luck. If it’s any consolation, I believe the majority of women are good-hearted and kind, unfortunately I have a penchant for crazy bitches. The good news is I am committed to changing that fact. Thus this blog.

If you feel I have targeted you and your friends for no good reason, then I suggest you re-evaluate yourself and your friends. This was not an arbitrary selection process. Your friends targeted me. I have only engaged them after they brought themselves to my attention. I followed the links to their site after they sent proxies to mine. So please do not paint yourselves as victims. That is also manipulative. This is exactly the type of behavior that leads others to believe you and your friends are troubled souls.

My hope is that, through awareness, these troubled souls will seek help and end the cycle of abuse and victimization. Only then will you see a disappearance of blogs like this one. Badgering me only adds fuel to the fire. It is evidence of abusive personalities and their active campaign to silence the discussion about personality disorders. Such badgering does indeed have an affect on my decision. Just not the effect that you were hoping for. Hostility begets more hostility. This blog means to teach troubled souls that antagonizing others (whether you mean to or not) can only bring them more misery.

I hope that answers most of your points. If not, feel free to respond. This blog will continue its course for as long as I deem necessary. Your concerns have been noted. But they are your concerns, not mine. This blog serves my needs, not yours. If you dislike it, I suggest you stop reading it until such time you can read such things and not feel bad about yourself. Good luck to you as you tackle your own problems.

Conservative or Liberal, you have to agree Anne Coulter is one angry bitch. I saw her interview with Piers Morgan. Not only was she obnoxious, she couldn’t stop talking about her book.

My god that woman is abrasive. I have to say Piers earned some points with me when he started asking her personal questions about her life. All of a sudden she got really awkward and defensive. She said she doesn’t talk about her personal life because she’s afraid of stalkers. Where have I seen this sort of self-victimization before?

There’s a reason why she talks about public issues and not her own issues. And it’s not because of stalkers or other imagined boogie men. The pained expression on her face says it all. When someone is this uptight, it’s because they are trying really hard to control their emotions. When they have a history of demonizing people, it’s because they are dealing with demons from their past.

What I see is a woman who is compensating for an inferiority complex via self-aggrandizement. A woman who is running away from a dark past, turbulent relationships and all the other things we’ve come to associate with narcissistic/borderline types. We’ve seen this pattern of behavior in liberal grandstanders as well. This has nothing to do with political affiliations.

I think Rosie O’Donnell nailed it when she had this to say about her:

She’s angry if you ask me. She’s full of rage. When you see someone like that, you have to go back to what happened in their childhood… You don’t know what went on in their household.

Good insight Rosie. I’d add that when someone is trying that hard to get people’s attention, there are usually some serious self-esteem issues. And this almost always points to some childhood abuse. This is not just women, you see it with other political extremists like Glenn Beck, Michael Savage and Rush “Oxcontin” Limbaugh.

This controversial question asked on Tumblr:

Should you be in a relationship if you’re massively fucked up? If you’re broken?

meloukhia:

The idea that people cannot find (do not deserve) love, particularly true or perfect love, if they are ‘broken’ or ‘damaged’ is in fact quite common in this society. Many people happily parrot this idea along with self-helpy jargon like needing to love yourself before you seek love. Which is a reminder to broken people, to people who may hate themselves for whatever reason, that they don’t deserve love (we don’t deserve so many things…to live, to speak, to have opinions…).

It is also particularly common to claim that people with mental illness, some diagnoses in particular, are inherently bad and dangerous and harmful and shouldn’t be in relationships/don’t deserve love because they will just hurt people. People have told me to my face at feminist conferences that people with my diagnoses are damaging and dangerous and shouldn’t be allowed to have relationships. Human connections.

The idea of denying love to any human being repulses me. The idea of proudly crowing that you feel some human beings don’t deserve love, or friendship, can never find these things, because they are ‘sick’…it’s not particularly new or revolutionary.

Hi C  wrote:

I completely disagree.

Not about the idea that people who have mental illnesses don’t deserve to find love, or that they are inherently bad.

But about the idea that you shouldn’t work on yourself before entering a relationship. I don’t think that’s an ableist idea. I think those who call that an ableist idea are making a mockery of sick people who are actually making an effort to “work on themselves”, and who are at the same time are working themselves to the bone, trying to take care of the people who love them and who they love.

Its not about you anymore when you join with someone else. That’s what’s at the heart of it when people say “you have to work on yourself before you enter a relationship”. You become semi-responsible for that other person’s health and wellness. You can’t burden them like that, because its just not fair to that other person.

Relationships aren’t about completing each other, or finding that special person who you can dump all your shit onto and have it be okay. That’s not fair, and that’s co-dependency to the hilt. That’s also breeding grounds for an abusive relationship. Relationships are two individuals coming together and loving each other and leaning on each other to an extent. If you can’t respect another person’s boundaries, maybe you shouldn’t be in a relationship.

Doesn’t matter what you have, what you are; doesn’t give anyone the right to throw all of their shit onto another person and expect them to hold themselves and you up completely — because that’s just the way you are, and you can’t help it. No. Absolutely not.

One does not lose all semblance of personal responsibility just because you have emotional illnesses.

Love, especially romantic love, isn’t something anyone deserves. That kind of connection with another human being is something you earn.

There’s a difference between accepting your diagnosis and understanding that you might never become “like others”, and not harming other people. And yeah, I define being in a relationship before you’re ready to be in a relationship that way.

I’m sorry if reading this hurts anyone. I just… I don’t know what else to say. That post hit me so hard with its wrongness. My feelings on this are entirely bound up in my (very negative) relationships with mentally ill people and my own experience being a mentally ill person in a relationship in which I put far too much of my own shit onto said boyfriend. If I could take back all of it, I would. The guilt keeps me up at night. The only way I’ve gotten this far into recovery is the thought that I’m going to make amends and never again be so disrespectful of the people I love.

allyourlovearebelongtome wrote:

I agree completely. I’m a depressive and have struggled with severe depression in the past. I’ve also been in relationships (all kinds) with mentally ill people. And guess what? It fucking hurts to hold yourself and another person up. You have to recognize when you’re a danger to others’ wellbeing. Love is not a commodity; everyone deserves a specific kind of love. But not everyone deserves a partner. Relationships with some types of mentally ill people can very easily become mentally/emotionally abusive. You don’t have to stick around for that out of guilt.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know my views on this topic. But I’m gonna chew on this for a bit before I post my comments down below. In the meantime- What do you think?

Nobody should ever accuse a partner or ex-partner of a borderline/rape survivor of not having enough compassion. If anything, they are guilty of too much compassion. A commenter, Chris, tells his story in response to a post titled When Borderlines Cut You Out of Their Life:

I have recently been there. I started to write this post twice about my experience but it started to turn into a book. My X also had been raped in her early twenties. I did not learn about it until a year into our relationship. She really played it down but I wonder just how much it affected her. Keep in mind this is someone I had known for 23 years and we dated in high school. She recently came back into my life.

Just some advice to anyone. Just run. It will zap your soul and drive you insane. A borderline works on an entirely different level of logic. They are not caring and they do not know how to love. You are only as good as your last conversation with them. They will tell you they have loved you all their lives and the next day you are the worse person for them.

When you leave them they will date your friends, ruin relationships with mutual friends, and tell lies to their new boyfriends about you. When you react to their insanity they will threaten you with restraining orders. Then they will come back to you. They will play vulnerable and seductive to get you back, and if you have any co-dependent tendencies you will take them back. Once they have you back they will tell you just how much they love you. They are smart, funny, charming and the good times are awesome and at those times you will love them and think perhaps it is someone you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Get it in your head right now. There is no fixing them and it will not get better no matter how much of a white knight you are. Leave them and don’t look back. Get off facebook and break all contact until you feel strong. Do not respond to them and don’t even piss on them if they are on fire. They will try everything to get you back into their lives to repeat the hurtful cycle over and over again.

Case in point. In my last breakup with my BPD I caught her contacting men on craigslist for dates by reading her email. Our prior breakup resulted in her going after a guy I knew only to cheat on him with me. The remorse I got for reading her email and ending it was a call from the police threatening arrest for gaining access to her email. Three months later she starts contacting me again only to want to play I have a new guy game again. I refused to play. Two months after that she comes telling me the new great guy tried to strangle her. Me being the fool I get sucked in showing her compassion only to have her cycle of rejection and hurt start all over again. BTW…she got back together with the guy that tried to strangle her.

If she thinks you are the crazy one let her think that way. Do not try to explain your feelings to them as they don’t look at things as a history. They only react to the way they feel now and they will never see your point of view. They may pretend to have remorse but they do not. They are so caught up in their image of self it has nothing to do with you.

Save yourself and get out and forgive yourself for things you may have done or said during your time with your BPD. The fact you are here reading this means you are trying to make sense of things which already makes you a good person.

Be careful when dealing with a borderline who is also a rape survivor or even alleged survivor. This is someone who has been severely traumatized and most likely has been re-traumatized over and over again. Any impression that this person is perfectly fine is a false impression. Most likely created by the borderline/survivor. Never mind how much you think he/she loves you. Without treatment, this person is literally incapable of love or intimacy. When someone is this traumatized, they can turn on you at any moment.

There’s a fine line between genius and dysfunction. Here’s five downers:

5. You’re Probably a Night Owl (which is bad!) – Recently, scientists discovered a quirky side effect to having a high IQ: You tend to stay up until later hours and get up later in the morning. These sleeping habits mean you’re also three times more likely to suffer the symptoms of depression, as well as being at higher risk for heart disease and suffer more arterial stiffness than those who go to bed early

4. You’re Less Likely to Pass On Your Genes – A 2008 national census reported that women who had dropped out of high school had the most children on average. Research shows that countries with high national IQs tend to have lower childbirth rates in general compared with countries that can’t collectively tie their shoelaces together.

But it’s not all bad news. There’s evidence that the highly educated get more enjoyment out of sex than the dumb jocks.

3. You’re More Likely to Lie – The problem with being the smartest guy in the room is that you usually know you’re the smartest guy in the room. You know you have an intellectual edge and can’t help but abuse it. IQ bestows the gift of deception.

2. You’re More Likely to Believe Bullshit – Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.

1. You’re More Likely to be Self-Destructive – The thing is, the great minds are full of curiosity. Smart people are more likely to be drunks, and people who fall into the “very bright” category (IQs of 125 or greater) are more likely to drink excessively and binge drink.

Unstable Relationships

June 1, 2011